“Believe the legend. Beware the wolf.”
This past week, Chictopia was invited to a private movie screening of the upcoming Warner Brothers’ film, Red Riding Hood, followed by a very intimate (about 40-50 people) press junket which included the cast of the film, director, writer, and the rest of us media representatives. Let’s go into what happened, shall we?
The “NOT SO LITTLE” Red Riding Hood ____________
Amanda Seyfried as Valerie
Max Irons as Henry
Gary Oldman as Father Solomon
Shiloh Fernandez as Peter
Sypnosis: Catherine Hardwicke, the director for the Twilight series, will make you Chictopians feel nolstagic with new movie, Red Riding Hood. Because of Catherine Hardwicke’s extensive background with the Twilight series, many may compare the series with this new film. Though there are similarities between both movies, rest assured, Red Riding Hood is a magnificent stand alone act.
In the small village of Daggerhorn, a werewolf, would come to the village every full moon to prey on the villagers’ monthly animal offerings. However, when a human being (Valerie’s younger sister, Lucie) is killed by the werewolf, the villagers decide to call for the famous werewolf hunter, Father Solomon, to come and help/protect them.
Father Solomon comes and tells the villagers that this werewolf could be any one of them since it is human during the daytime. It isn’t until when the full moon rises that the werewolf is in its ‘natural’ beast form. While all this is happening, Valerie gets involved in a love-triangle with the person she has loved since childhood, Peter (the poor woodcutter), and Henry, the wealthy blacksmith whom her mother has arranged her to marry.
The story begins to truly unfold when Valerie is given the red cloak by her grandma (the one whom she trusts the most). It is then that she is confronted with family secrets and becomes suspicious that one of her loved ones could be the dangerous werewolf.
My Thoughts:: The film is suspenseful, seductive, and creatively played out. I came into the screening having a few expectations (i.e., the movie would be like Twilight, target audience: teenagers, typical fairytale story, etc.). However, the cast, directing, and plot went seamlessly together, making me feel like I was one of the characters living in the village of Daggerhorn.
Although the film does have some similar Twilight elements to it, it still is a completely different story. The writers and director take the famous fairytale we all come to know and transform it into a raw yet believable, dark murder mystery. It’s completely thrilling to watch, and it gives one to think what the true meaning may be behind The Little Red Riding Hood legend. This film is a definite must watch movie for teenagers and adults!
EXCLUSIVE Press Junket__________________
Attendees: Amanda Seyfried, Catherine Hardwicke, Max Irons, Shiloh Fernandez, David Leslie Johnson
As I first entered the conference room where the press junket was held, I was startled and happy to find out that it was going to be an intimate setting. The room was rather small and only held up to at most 50 people (including the cast). I was able to sit in the second row (3 feet away from the cast) and hear every word that the cast members had to say about the movie – even without their microphones!
Here are just some of the *things that were discussed EXCLUSIVELY * in this press junket for the upcoming film, Red Riding Hood!
What were some of the big challenges when making the film?
David Leslie Johnson (writer for the film) discussed that he wanted to keep the fairytale alive throughout the film. So, when writing the script and storyline, he actually put the fairytale at the end of the film. and “then worked it backwards.” This will keep viewers ponder who Valerie will trust in the end, etc.
What was it like putting the cloak for the first time? Also, how did Catherine Hardwicke choose Amanda Seyfried to play the protagonist?
Amanda Seyfried described the red cloak “beautifully designed.” Catherine Hardwicke discovered Amanda Seyfried when Amanda spoke at an Autism presentation and when it came casting for the protagonist of the film, Catherine only thought of Amanda for the role. Also, Catherine said Amanda Seyfried “looks like a fairytale” due to her big eyes. Amanda even laughed and rolled her eyes!
Why were the words, “The Little” dropped in the title?
Amanda replied bluntly, “because of breasts,” and everyone in the room laughed at her comment. But, David Leslie Johnson explained that it was “patronizing to put little” in the title, considering that this film’s protagonist is clearly a young woman. Amanda further explained that her character, Valerie, is becoming of age where she is learning on her own of what is right and wrong.
Amanda’s character, Valerie, gets jealous during a scene when she sees Peter (Shiloh Fernandez) dancing with another girl. Does Amanda get jealous in real life?
This was indeed a very personal question, and it seemed to startle the starlet, but Amanda answered confidently that she would immediately ask the person to stop making her jealous. The way she answered the question definitely showed a raw yet powerful side of Amanda – she is after all just like the rest of us despite the elevated celebrity status.
The press junket turned out very informal which definitely eased the tension of the room. Catherine Hardwicke and the cast were so friendly and even made jokes the whole time. Gary Oldman is not like his character at all; in real life, he is silly, goofy, and intellectual. Amanda Seyfried, Max Irons, and Shiloh Fernandez are even more beautiful in person – they answered our questions like we were good friends. As Catherine Hardwicke talked about her film, she showed a lot of passion and hand gestures to get her points across. It is an amazing experience to see celebrities in their somewhat-natural form since their answers during the press junket seemed unscripted and honest.
And, if you must know, Catherine and Gary did throw a couple of curse words at the end of the press junket! What a great ending to a fun press junket!
Diving Into the Fashion______________________
Amanda Seyfried is wearing a red cloak over a long-sleeved lavender gown.
Max Irons is wearing a long, brown robe over a leather vest and camel pants.
Gary Oldman is wearing a purple, velvet robe and a huge cross as his staple accessory.
Shiloh Fernandez is wearing an all black, rugged ensemble.
A lot of the inspiration for Red Riding Hood’s costumes come from the Renaissance period, where it was common to use fabrics such as velvet in conjunction with flamboyant embellishments and trailing sleeves in clothing. It was during this period that you will see how people’s socioeconomic status were displayed through the clothing they wore. If you were wealthy, you would be adorned in dark, expensive fabrics (i.e., velvet, silk, brocade) to show off the clothing’s decorative details. However, the “commoners” would be usually seen in rough fabrics and simple, shapeless tunics/clothing.
The costumes shown in the photos were the actual ones that the stars wore in the film!
The red clock is highly symbolic in the film; every time Valerie (Amanda Seyfried) wore the red velvet cloak, she’s instantly transformed from a naive commoner to an assertive courageous woman. According to Catherine Hardwicke, 17 ladies made that signature red cloak you see on Amanda Seyfried. Talk about major DIY and handwork! Thus, when you examine each character’s costume, you will realize that the clothing certainly fit the character’s statuses.
Solomon (Gary Oldman) was the wealthiest out of the four due to the rich purple in the velvet robe. In addition, the long length of his robe signifies wealth while you see the robe that Henry (Max Irons) wears (who is also well-off, but not as wealthy as Solomon) isn’t quite as long or bold, but still considered tailored. Peter’s (Shiloh Fernandez) all-black attire was appropriate for his lowered status due to lack of excessive lavishness.
Red Riding Hood comes out in theatres on March 11, 2011. For more information, please check out the following:
Again, I want to thank Chictopia and Warner Brothers for allowing me to attend and cover this press junket! It was an unforgettable and amazing experience!